Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bubble-gum with a bite!

My jaw still feels very uncomfortable after reading this report.

A Ukrainian chemistry student has been killed by exploding bubble gum that tore off half of his face.

Vladimir Likhonos, a student at a regional branch of the Kiev Polytechnical Institute, is thought to have accidentally dipped his chewing gum into explosives he was using for his studies, police spokeswoman Elvira Biganova told The Associated Press.

She said the 25-year-old mistook the powder for citric acid, which he often added to prolong the gum's taste.

Likhonos, from the town of Konotop, in northeast Ukrainian, blew off his entire jaw and most of the lower part of his face in Saturday's accident. Medical workers who arrived on the scene attempted to treat his injuries but were unable to save him.

'Even some of our seasoned officers, who have seen a thing or two, even they were pretty badly shaken up by what they found,' Biganova said.

There's more at the link.

Moral of the story: don't keep your sweetener and your explosives on the same workbench!



LabRat said...

This is why all working laboratories that are doing anything that's not strictly computer-based have a NO FOOD policy. And gum counts.

It's one of the most frequently flouted rules, but it exists for a very good reason.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I smell a massive rat here. Perhaps it is because I'm a child of the Cold War, but there had to be something else going on, perhaps inside the lab, perhaps initiated from outside the lab. I realize weird and wonderful things happen (having done a few chemical oopsies back in the college chem day), but this one is just . . .

Billll said...

Got the Citric acid confused with the Picric Acid, did he?

Annon is right, though, an error of that type, on that scale would be difficult to make, I would think.